Different types and sizes of horse rugs

ArticleHow to - Tack and EquipmentTuesday 13 April 2010
Choosing Horse Blankets

Horse blankets are a vital piece of equipment for horses and it is very important that it fits correctly. There are lots of different sizes for horse blankets and one that is too small could restrict the movement of a horse and cause stress while horse blankets that are too large can fall off, defeating the point of horse blankets all together. To correctly choose from the various horse blanket sizes, you need to measure your horse. This guide outlines how to choose the correct sizes for horse blankets.

Horse blanket sizes
The only good way to correctly choose from the different horse blanket sizes is to measure your horse. Secure your horse before you measure him because he may get spooked by the tape.
To correctly measure for horse blankets, you should measure from the middle of the chest, across the ribs and the rump. You will probably need someone to help you hold the horse and the measuring tape at either end. Remember to note down the measurement.
The sizes for horse blankets are also dependent on the width of the horse so you need to measure that. Horse blankets fall down roughly to their knees so you will need to estimate the height of their knees somewhat. Take the tape measure and measure across the middle of the horse’s back to knee level on the other side and note this down.
Horse blanket sizes are generic and all horses are individual so you need to match your measurements to the various sizes for horse blankets and choose the best match. If you end up having to choose between one that is slightly to big and one too small, choose the larger of the two horse blankets.
Different types of horse blankets
There are many types of horse blanket available, and some are made for particular situations. For a guide to different kinds of horse blanket, see the following.
Day sheets
Horse blankets like this are light, and typically used in milder weather conditions to keep a horse’s coat clean. Normally day sheets are made from acrylic, cotton, or other lightweight fabrics. They do not tend to be waterproof, but can also be used as an extra layer in colder conditions.
Horse turnout
This style of blanket is used mainly for when the horse is in his pasture. A horse turnout is normally made from tough materials like nylon or polyester as they are designed to be strong and long lasting. The horse turnout protects from the weather a little bit and there are different versions for use in a number of climates.
Anti-sweat sheets
Horse blankets like this one are used after a horse has been exercising to cool them down. It is not recommended to put this sheet on the horse in the stall because they are not designed to be too durable.
A horse cooler can be used to keep a horse’s muscles warm after warming up but before main exercise. It can also be useful for after exercise to regulate the horse’s temperature. Made of wool or fleece, a cooler is great for keeping a horse clean.
Horse fly sheet
Made of mesh, a horse fly sheet is used principally to protect a horse from irritating insects that like to bite in the summer. A horse fly sheet is very light and will allow skin ventilation whilst keeping bugs such as horse flies and mosquitoes out. In addition to a horse fly sheet, some people may opt to use a fly mask and fly boots for overall coverage.
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